Julia, a friend of Barbie, was introduced in 1969 and two different versions of the doll debuted that year – both using the Christie face sculpt.
The first Julia doll is a Twist ‘n Turn (TNT) #1127 wearing a two-piece white nurse uniform and hat – which is harder to find than the one-piece uniform it changed to in 1970. She was created in the likeness of Diahann Carroll from the TV series “Julia” in which she played a nurse and widowed mom in Los Angeles. The show ran from 1968 – 1971 and Julia was sold from 1969 – 1971. Mattel produced a 50th-anniversary reproduction of Julia in her nurse outfit in 2008. Amazon sells this doll. Ms. Carroll married four times and passed away in 2019 at the age of 84. RIP, beautiful lady.
The other Julia produced in 1969 is Talking Julia #1128. I was lucky enough to score a 1969 NRFB Talking Julia for $120. She came with brunette hair but her hair, like most, oxidized to red over the years. When you pull the string in the back of her neck, she "spoke" with Diahann's voice! Some of the things she says is:
"I love the new dress styles!"
"We sure have a lot of fun!"
"What should I wear on my show?"
"Nursing is great fun!"
"Would you like to be an actress?"
"Hi, my name is Julia."
Talking Julia wears a disco-esque gold and silver one-piece jumpsuit with a sewn-in belt and gold glitter open toe. There is also a Talking Christie, Talking Barbie, Talking Stacey, Talking Ken, Talking Brad and Talking P.J.
Even though Julia is the same size as Barbie and can wear Barbie's fashions, Julia is one of the few Barbie dolls who has her own wardrobe (so did Twiggy). Julia had four outfits in 1969 designed for her: #1752 Brrr-Furrr in red or blue, #1753 Candlelight Capers, #1754 Pink Fantasy and #1751 Leather Weather.
The Sears Exclusive, Simply Wow Julia gift set #1594, was also released in 1969. The set included Talking Julia in her gold and silver jumpsuit and the hard-to-find Simply Wow fashion. It includes a sleeveless dress with a white satin bodice and turquoise knit skirt, a turquoise knit jacket and turquoise pilgrim shoes. The dress and jacket both have gold braided trim.
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